Free «Islamic Terrorism» Essay Sample
Terrorism is one of the main global threats nowadays. Governments of almost the all countries in the world develop their strategies to fight against this threat. Probably the single world’s strategy will be developed in the nearest future because terrorism is dangerous for the whole world’s society.
Usually the term global terrorism is associated with Islamist terrorism. The representatives of this culture, this religious, is usually the most active in this context. However, there is no need to relate the whole global terrorism to some particular culture. It is caused by the general defects of the world’s society. For example, in the analyzed case one of the reasons to commit the crime was a desire of criminals to escape with their poor daily life and become famous.
It can be proven by the following words as cited in Fantz “What's better than sitting back here and working like a dog and ... being somebody's puppy?” Almonte asked the undercover agent in March. He said he yearned for "a life of dignity" serving Allah” (para. 10)..
Terrorists crave the attention of the publicity. In this context, the media should not broadcast such cases in more details. Since, journalists help criminals to reach their aim in such way. It means that they have won. That is why the media should be more responsible. It would be one of the ways of preventing similar accidents.
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People should be punished even for simple claims of doing some violent acts. Mankind would be able to eliminate terrorism using such a complex approach. However, punishment should be less strict for such claims. But, it should be.
Therefore, terrorism can be defined as an act of violence, performed by people or groups of people for the purpose of political, religious or cultural pressure. Usually, terrorism is performed by groups of people. Since, it is easier to collect resources, plan acts, and implement plans by a group of people. Such group of people that performs terrorist acts is called a terrorist organization.
First of all, terrorism is considered and treated as a criminal act in every country in the world. Second, terrorist acts are traditionally performed by a group of people, the so-called terrorist organizations. Third, the goal of a terrorist act is to provoke the state of terror and fear in society. Finally, terrorist acts are provoked by philosophical, religious, political, racial or other ideas.
A terrorist organization is a formal group of people, united with a goal of commiting act of terrorism. Usually, such people have common resources, management, and strategies. All their actions are planned and follow some particular goals. These goals can be political, religious, economic etc. According to the goals, the different types of terrorism and terrorist organizations are differentiated. Traditionally, it is reasonable to talk about political and religious terrorism.
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There is a simple reason to create a terrorist organization. This reason can be even compared to principles used in business and commerce. Terrorist organizations lower transactional costs of committing terrorist acts. Communication and planning are also easier and more effective inside a terrorist organization. Finally, it is easier to accumulate required financial and other resources and commit terrorist acts by means of terrorist organizations.
There are some particular features that define a terrorist organization and differ it from other criminal groups. These features are the following:
- A terrorist organization is formed on the ideological basis, despite the fact whether this ideology is religious or political.
- A terrorist organization has a clear goal of its performance. Usually, this goal is not associated with financial purposes. For instance, the main aim of Islamic terrorist organizations is the elimination of the Western principles and dominance of Islam.
- A terrorist organization is properly financed by external sources. It cannot earn money itself. These external sources can support ideas of a terrorist organization or follow some own personal goals.
- A typical and bright characteristic of a terrorist organization is their tradition to use people as a weapon. Everyone knows about the so-called Shahids, people that sacrifice their life in ideological goals.
- Usually, terrorist organizations have the significant military background. They are usually more powerful in the military context than other criminal groups. Also, members of such organizations are professional and trained people.
- Terrorist organizations have the international character and commit crimes in all the corners of the world.
- Terrorist organizations are forbidden in the whole world. Some criminal groups can be pursued only inside one country, but terrorism is considered as the international crime by the whole world’s community.
A terrorist organization can be designated by national governments or international organizations. There are hundreds of terrorist organizations in the world. Different terrorist organizations have been the most dangerous in the different periods of time. The five most dangerous current terrorist organizations of the world will be considered below.
The first terrorist organization is well-known probably for every person on the planet. This organization is called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It is probably the most powerfull military terrorist organization nowadays. It has about 200 000 fighters. That is why it can be even called as a terrorist army. That is why its degree of danger simply cannot be overestimated.
ISIL is an Islamist terrorist organization. The main goal of the organization is to declare Islamic caliphate in the whole Arab world. There is a significant difference between ISIL and other similar organizations considering its ability to capture territories, hold them and even get revenues from them. For instance, the group gets significant revenues from the trade of crude oil.
According to DePetris (2014) “Combined with a Treasury Department study that assesses ISIL’s crude oil revenue at a value of $1 million per day, it’s safe to say that the United States and the coalition it has assembled has a lot of work ahead of them” (para. 9).
The second organization that is going to be considered is Boko Haram. This terrorist organization has been created in the northeastern Nigeria. The organization was created in 2002. Its goal is to eliminate western standards and rules of life in Nigeria and establish strict Islamic rules. Comparing to the previous organization, Boko Haram knows how to capture and hold territories. That is why it can be also called a military group that performs war against a legal government. Recently, Boko Haram and ISIL have become allies.
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The third organization is Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. This terrorist group has been not designated by a lot of countries as a terrorist organization. It is an elite group of Islamic Republic, and it performs in Iran. The group is used in political motives by Iran government. The purpose is to strengthen Iran’s positions in the Middle East. Also, this organization provides financial and other resources to other terrorist organizations. That is why such organization is dangerous for the whole world.
The fourth organization that should be considered is the so-called Haqqani Network. The organization performs mainly in Afghanistan. The main goal of performance is the anti-American policy in the country and the whole region. Taliban has become the basis for this terrorist group.
The last organization that should be considered is called Kataib Hezbollah. This organization performs in Iraq. In fact, a lot of experts determine strong bonds between the organization and Iraqi government. The basic ideology of the organization is Shia militia. Once again, they fight against the American presence in the region and for the purpose of establishing Islamic rules. The most dangerous feature of the organization is the presence of governmental support. DePetris (2014) found the following: In fact, due to the unpredictable collapse of the Iraqi army, Kataib Hezbollah has only grown more powerful and its name has only increased in relevance. The Iraqi government—first under former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and now under Haider al-Abadi—has come to depend upon informal Shia militias like KH for reinforcing an army that is struggling to chip away at ISIL’s territorial expansion in northern and western Iraq” (para.6).
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Considering the analysis of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world, the majority of them perform in the Arab world. They are Islamic terrorist groups. Their main goal is to establish Islamic principles in the region and eliminate western standards. They call their performance as a holy war against Western enemies. Usually, such organizations are very conservative and orthodox. Also, another common feature of these organizations is the high degree of violence.
Such performance of the mentioned terrorist organizations misinterprets Quran and causes negative attitude of people to Islam. In fact, Islam is considered as a negative and aggressive religion by a lot of people in the world. The Western world is beginning to treat the Arab world as an enemy. Such attitude is even realized in a daily life of simple persons, when Arab people are treated in a negative way.
Because of the violent performance of terrorist organizations, fear of Islam has occurred. Fear may lead to hate, in the end. It is a very dangerous trend. It happens because of wrong interpretation of Quran and Islamic principles. Terrorist organization use their treatment of Islamic principles for some own goals. The task for the Western World is to interpret Quran in a right way and try to find consensus with civilized and peaceful part of the Arab world.
Islam is one of the world’s largest religions. Also, it can be called as one of the most orthodox religions of the world. Islamic principles are quite strict and conservative. On the other hand, Arab people are really loyal to this religion. In fact, they are ready to do everything possible in order to follow the principles of Islam.
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Some people understand the message of Quran to follow Islamic principles in an extremal way. There is a term of a holy world in Quran. It means that Arab people should protect their religion and even fight with representatives of the other religions.According to Helweg, However often Islamic apologists may declare that Islam is a religion of peace and that it was not spread by the sword, the facts remain. The Qur'an contains many verses that encourage and sometimes command fighting for the faith against pagans and infidels, which are defined as non-Muslims, including Christians and Jews. Historically, while Christians and Jews could coexist in countries conquered by Muslims, they were forced by pain of death to pay a special tax and could never rise above certain levels in any government service (para. 10).
However, Quran accents on this principle from the side of protection of the religion. There are not words about attacks on other religions. Terrorist organizations use the principle of a holy war for attack and violence. In general, Islam is a peaceful religion, and there are a lot of poetry in Quran.
The problem of wrong interpretation of Quran and principles of Islam also has the second side. It is a well-known fact that war with terrorism has become a national idea after 9/11. It has been used by state administration as a reason for interference in the Arab world and wars with a lot of local countries.
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There are a lot of experts that believe that war with terrorism is not a final and main goal of the United States of America. The country uses fear of its citizens simply to achieve own mercantile goals. These goals can be different, for example, from access to cheap resources of crude oil to strengthen of positions in the region. Therefore, it is a simple geopolitical game for the country.
Also, there are a lot of internal bonuses for the country because of the war with terrorism. For instance, it has become popular to increase defense budget every year. A lot of money is invested in military companies and campaigns. It is billions of revenues for some special people in the country.
American society and the whole world pay the significant price for such policy of the United States of America. The price is trillions of dollars, the death of civilians and Amercian soldiers, the decline of reputation of the country, etc. Smith (2010) states that the Bush-Obama anti-terrorism policy has two aspects, one public, the other concealed. The public aspect is to "keep America safe" from specifically Arab and more broadly Muslim "terrorists." The concealed aspect is to utilize the 9/11 tragedy to justify the projection of military might to extend U.S. hegemony throughout the oil-rich Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf region, and into geostrategic Central Asia through the occupation of Afghanistan (para. 11).
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Generally, a lot of people and experts believe that American policy during the last decades has caused negative attitude of the Arab world to the country and significant preconditions for development of terrorism. Smith (2010) in his article define five major decisions that have led to the growth of terrorism.
The first decision was made after the Ward War II. The USA has decided to strengthen its positions in the Middle East. It was a part of its great war with the Societ Union. The country signed long term deals with local conservative governments. As a result, the country created obstacles for the development of democracy in the Middle East. Lack of democracy is a great environment for the development of terrorism.
The second wrong decision that has led to the negative attitude of the Arab world is the American total support of Israel. The country has not tried to find some compromise with the Arab countries. Such tough positions cannot be acceptable for the Islamic countries of the region. That is why a terrorist war against the United States of America is, in fact, a holy war for the Islamic terrorist organizations.
The third decision according to Smith (2010) was Washington decision to involve the country in the Afghan civil war. Once again, it was a part of a big game of the United States of America with the Soviet Union. Probably, the decision was the direct reason for 9/11, in the end. That terrorist act can be considered as a revenge of Afghanistan Islamic extremals for invasion in their civil war in 1978.
The fourth decision was imposing sanctions against Iraqi people after the Gulf War in 1991. These sanctions were cruel and affected the quality of life in the country significantly. A lot of people have died because of sanctions, war, and its consequences. It has ended in the second war with Iraq in 2003. This opinion can be proved by the following words. According to Smith (2010), ultimately up to 1.5 million Iraqis died as a result of a dozen years of draconian U.S./UN economic, trade and materials sanctions that accompanied the war, and which ended only after the U.S. invasion in March 2003. The UN suggests that half these civilian dead were children (para. 15).
The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003, with the invasion of Iraq by the international troops led by the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The initiator of the war was the government of the USA.
According to the government of the United States of America, the formal reason to start the war in Iraq was the campaign against terrorism and totalitarian regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It means that formally the USA followed an honorable aim to help the citizens of Iraq to cease the terror of the regime of Saddam Hussein and even more to save the whole world from the global threat of terrorism.
The most powerful argument of American government in support of the war was a conviction that Saddam Hussein and his supporters had produced the weapon of mass destruction and were ready and able to use it. For the average American the phrase “the weapon of mass destruction” means that it can be used against his/her country as it was done in 2001. This idea seemed to be quite reasonable and justified without any doubt. But, as we know, in the end, this weapon has not been found.
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Allegations that Iraq had developed the weapon of mass destruction to use it in the future attacks on the United States, was an attempt to use fear and anger of American people in order to gain the support of society.
This mission has become very popular in the American society after the events of 9/11 2001, when the terrorists led by the American’s enemy number one Osama Ben Laden attacked the USA and killed more than three thousand people. Taking into consideration the whole horror of those days this idea has got a support of American society and justified the war against Afghanistan.
In this context, the war in Afghanistan is not still finished, and it is a subject of discussions whether American has managed to reach its aim. But the war in Iraq had a different character and is not seen by Americans as a needed measure nowadays.
Finally, the last and the newest decision was to invade Afghanistan after 9/11. The optimal decision would be relying on the international policy that should have caught all the members of al-Qaeda. At least, the United States of America could try to strike only terrorists. Alas was an invasion and wholescale war. Respectively, it could not lead to some positive attitude to the country and the Western Civilization in general.
Smith (2010) believes that the wrong American international policy has led to the creation of preconditions for the development of terrorism. The whole world is forced to face the negative consequences of such policy. These consequences can be overcome in the future. The current task is to avoid even more negative results and further development of terrorism. In order to do it, the United States of America should change its foreign policy. It should try to find the consensus with the Arab world. Mercantile interests should be not the final goal for the country.